Alec Loorz became a climate activist at age 12 after watching An Inconvenient Truth twice in one evening. (Victoria Loorz)

By Claire

I have to admit, that I do feel quite overwhelmed when I start to think honestly about climate change. The problem seems so big, and I feel so small. How can I possibly make a difference, when there is so much inaction from the large players, both in government and the private sector? Once I have changed over all my lightbulbs, brought green bags to the super market and started using blankets instead of a heater, what more can I do?

Well, whoever said that an individual (or a small group of teenagers, as this case may be) can’t take on the big players in climate change, obviously did not get through to this group of people.

Five teenagers from the USA are suing the federal government for not doing more to prevent the impacts of climate change.  Specifically, the students are demanding that the U.S. government start reducing national emissions of carbon dioxide by at least six percent per year beginning in 2013.

“I think a lot of young people realize that this is an urgent time, and that we’re not going to solve this problem just by riding our bikes more,” Loorz (the key plantiff) said in an interview.

This lawsuit raises a whole lot of issues relating to whether a court judge should have the power to decide the policy of a whole country, which is in essence what will happen if the ruling goes the way of the teenagers.

While many people are dismissing this case as a publicity stunt, it is attracting the attention of some big players. The National Association of Manufacturers has sought, and been granted permission to intervene in the case.

I think once we have done everything that we can as individuals to minimise our carbon footprint, then all that’s left is to campaign for the large-scale changes that are needed to really make a difference. I’m not suggesting that we should sue the Australian government (although if Abbot gets into power, then maybe I am…), but we need to keep persisting in asking for change.

How are you campaigning for action on climate change?

Read the full story here.